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It has been eight hundred and seventy years since The Great War, but thanks to the pioneering spirits of Harmony’s grandmother and grandfather, the quality of life in the war-torn countryside has slowly been improving.
Harmony and Boy have been flying her grandmother’s airship since her death. They use it to deliver food supplies and scavenged objects from The Forbidden Lands to the... last few remaining humans on earth. It’s on one of these trips up the east coast that an unexpected storm pulls the airship out into the open ocean. Even though Harmony struggles to keep Airus airborne, the strong winds are too much and it’s sent crashing into the ocean.
When Harmony regains consciousness, she discovers that the currents have pushed Airus onto the shore of a tiny island – but that’s the only good news. There’s no fresh water, her two robots are damaged, Airus’ balloon is deflated, and the friction engine is broken. All of this may have been enough to defeat someone else, but Harmony has never been known to give up. She’s lucky enough to be blessed with her grandmother’s grit, determination and bullheadedness.
A Sneak Peek
An Ill Wind
“Go to the cabin!” Harmony yelled, hoping Boy could hear over the howling wind and booming thunder.
Since early morning, driving rain and hurricane-force winds had battered Airus and its occupants, making it difficult to function and stay airborne. Harmony was concerned the rain was harming Boy’s internal workings and wanted to get him out of it, but of course that was only if she could convince him to leave her alone at the helm. The little robot was stubborn and cankerous on a good day and this was most definitely not one of those.
“The hell I will. It will take both of us to keep the airship from crashing.”
It was pointless wasting her breath arguing so Harmony wiped the rain off her goggles and checked the altimeter again. She had never flown in such high winds and was wondering if she should try to get Airus above the storm. Her biggest problem was that the friction engine was sputtering like it was going to die, and what if she did somehow manage to get Airus above it all? Would the colder air there pull the airship even farther out to sea?
“Don’t blame me if, when we do get out of this mess, you’re rusty and nothing works right.” A gust of wind blew her hat off and it would have gone flying overboard if not for Boy grabbing it in midair.
He held it out. “You should put this somewhere safe.”
Harmony shook her head. “I can’t let go of the wheel long enough.” Even with both feet planted and both hands struggling to keep a firm grip of the wheel, the airship was struggling to stay in the air. She was afraid that, even if they did finally come out on the other side of this storm in one piece, they were going to be hopelessly lost at sea. Navigating on land came easy to her but she knew nothing about flying without landmarks. Her father had tried to teach her how to use the stars to navigate but she had never been very good at it.
A sudden downdraft almost knocked the hat out from under Boy’s arms and she thought it a good enough excuse to get him off deck. “Take that to the cabin. It will give you a chance to check on Molly.” When Boy didn’t move, she chanced removing a hand from the wheel long enough to place it on top of his glass head. Even though he was a robot, he responded better to touch than he did words. “Go on. I’ll be fine.”
Boy stared unblinkingly at Harmony for several seconds before finally saying, “Don’t die.” With that he headed toward the cabin, leaving her alone at the wheel.
Harmony immediately missed his calming presence and wished she’d reassured him before he left that everything was going to be okay, but the truth was, she was afraid this was one battle she wasn’t going to win. The winds were too brutal to fight against, and even though she hadn’t said anything, it hadn’t gone unnoticed that pieces of the airship were now sailing past her at an alarming rate. How much more could Airus take and still remain airborne? The answer came almost immediately when the airship dropped like a rock, straight into the sea. Harmony was sent tumbling, the last thing remembered being an excruciating pain radiating throughout her head.